By day, Larry Abrams is an English teacher in the Lindenwold School District. At night and on weekends, he spreads “book wealth” to people across the Garden State and in Philadelphia through his organization, BookSmiles, collecting books and giving them away to people who do not have a library of their own.
“We distribute them to nonprofits, to my fellow brother and sister teachers, to anyone who can put books into the hands of kids who really need them,” he said.
The organization has just given away it’s 508,000th book.
On May 7, Abrams will be one of 24 New Jerseyans being honored during the 25th anniversary celebration of the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, sponsored by Ramapo College of New Jersey. Abrams was nominated by three of the approximately 75 volunteers in his organization. His award comes with a $7,500 cash prize that will go back into his organization.
“We’re in the middle … of a campaign to accrue $37,000 because we need to buy a 16-foot box truck with a wrap,” he said. “It’s getting to the point where we are palletizing books.”